FIA explains why Gasly was penalised for Alonso F1 clash

FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi says that Pierre Gasly was penalised for contact with Fernando Alonso in the Turkey GP because the Frenchman was deemed to be wholly to blame.

FIA explains why Gasly was penalised for Alonso F1 clash

Gasly touched Alonso's rear wheel at Turn 1 on the first lap, sending the Alpine driver into a spin, and ending any chance that the former world champion had of scoring points,

Often, first-lap contact is regarded by the stewards as a racing incident, but on this occasion the stewards agreed that Gasly should be penalised.

They also discounted the fact that Gasly had the Red Bull of Sergio Perez on his inside.

Gasly received a five-second penalty, which he took at his pitstop, as well as two points in his licence. He eventually finished sixth, just behind Lewis Hamilton.

The stewards initially said in their decision that Gasly "was predominantly at fault", but the verdict was later corrected to say the Frenchman was "wholly at fault".

"It should also be pointed out that the stewards do not consider this incident as an unavoidable Lap 1 Turn 1 contact between two cars, as GAS was not sandwiched between two cars when he touched ALO's car," the verdict added.

Masi stressed that the key thing was that Gasly was deemed to be responsible, in accordance with the procedures agreed before this season.

"One of the things if we go back to the start of the year, if you recall, pre the first event was that following discussions with the drivers and the teams is that we had to sort of ratchet back a little bit the let them race principles in general," he said.

"And one of them was first-lap incidents , and that if a driver was wholly to blame for an incident, then it would likely result in a penalty.

"And that one there was the stewards determined that Pierre was wholly to blame for the incident. And as a result, a five-second penalty was imposed."

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Asked to compare the Turkish incident with the unpenalised first-lap contact between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at Imola, Masi stressed that the cases were different.

"I think if you look at the Max and Lewis one, it's one of those the wholly or predominantly, under our regulations. So we've said, and the way that for ease of interpretation, let's call it, for everyone's benefit, is that if someone is wholly to blame on lap one, it will result in a penalty.

"If it takes two to tango, then it would be likely on lap one not result in anything, or if there's more than the two cars involved. But if it's quite clear, two cars, one has done it, then a penalty would happen."

Masi confirmed that the stewards had considered if Perez's presence alongside Gasly had played a role before discounting it.

"So that was one of the things why it probably took a little bit longer at the start there to have a closer look at, is that obviously Sergio was on the inside, but once it was quite clear from all of the footage and everything available, that's why they determined that it was a five second penalty."

Gasly himself insisted that Perez's presence did play a role, as he was trying to stay clear of the Red Bull.

"There was contact and I haven't really seen the footage" he said. "For me it was tight with Sergio inside me and Fernando was on the outside, so honestly there wasn't space, but yes there was contact.

"I did the penalty, I don't know if it was the right thing or not. I need to look at the footage first.

"I saw Fernando was there, I also saw Sergio was there, and I tried to go where I could. We know it is always usually not a good mix when there are that many cars. I don't have any other similar situation that comes to mind. That is just the way it is."

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